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Panko Mashed Potato Balls

The most deliciously simple way to use leftover mash.

Mashed Potato Balls Horizontal 1
Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

When I cook creamy, buttery mashed potatoes I tend to get over-excited with the amount I make. As both of my boy children (aged 5 and 4) don’t eat mash, getting to cook up a bowlful for my wife and myself is a rare occasion (especially as we’re making some effort to reduce carbs as well).

This usually means that there’s plenty of mash leftover to use for something else tasty the next day. My favorite lazy leftover dish is panko mashed potato balls, the perfect use for next-day mash. These delicious spud bombs are a crispy delight for a snack, appetizer, or light meal.

Mashed Potato Balls Ingredients 1
Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

You can make the potato balls smaller or larger depending on the quantity of mash on hand, and whether you are looking for a snack-sized or more sizeable serving. If you don’t mind a bit of melty mess, add some mozzarella to the middle for a gooey delight. While you can go with normal bread crumbs as well, the extra crunch from panko makes them the go-to bread crumb for this kind of recipe.

Mix Together
Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

The best piece of advice during the ball crafting process is that being gentle but thorough with the crumbing and ball rolling will help keep you from losing shape, while also ensuring the mash mix doesn’t burst apart while cooking.

Ready for Rolling 1
Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

I also tried doing a few of these mashed potato balls in the air fryer, for comparison’s sake. They cooked through just as well, but I found that the air fried balls couldn’t get the golden crisp outer layer that makes the potato ball really stand out visually and on the palate.

Cook in Oil 4
Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

The recipe below is a quick and easy method to make sensational next-day mashed potato balls and should impress every spud lover out there. I’m hoping that it may even convert a few recalcitrant kids!

Mashed Potato Balls Vert 1
Image: Jono Elderton for 12 Tomatoes

Makes 8-12 Balls

15m prep time

10m cook time

4.8
Rated 4.8 out of 5
Rated by 4 reviewers

Allergens: Eggs, Gluten

Ingredients
  • 2 cups cold mashed potato leftovers
  • 1 rasher of bacon, chopped finely
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon chives, fresh or dried
  • 1 tablespoon chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • Vegetable oil
Preparation
  1. Cut bacon rasher into small pieces then fry in a skillet until nicely brown.
  2. Take the bowl of mashed potatoes and stir in the bacon bits, chives, salt, and pepper.
  3. Roll the potato mixture into small balls approximately the size of a golf ball.
  4. In one container, add panko crumbs. In another, plain flour, and in a third container, add the lightly beaten egg.
  5. Flour, egg, and bread crumb each mashed potato ball, ensuring a good coverage of panko crumbs.
  6. Pre-heat a frying pan at medium heat with an inch and a half of vegetable oil, then add mashed potato balls.
  7. Cook for 3-4 minutes until golden brown, turning occasionally to ensure even cooking.
  8. Dry excess oil from mashed potato balls with paper towel, then serve immediately with the dipping sauce of your choice.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn

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As both of my boy children (aged 5 and 3) don’t eat mash, and the baby isn’t quite ready for solids, getting to cook up a bowlful for my wife and myself is rarer (especially as we’re making some effort to reduce carbs as well).

When I cook my creamy, buttery mash I tend to get over-excited, which means there’s plenty left over to use for something else the next day.

My favorite lazy leftover dish is panko mashed potato balls, a crispy, tasty option for a snack or light meal (if you don’t mind a bit of melty mess, add some mozzarella to the middle for a gooey delight).

The recipe below is a quick and easy method to make sensational next day mashed potato balls that will impress every spud lover out there, and maybe even convert a pair of recalcitrant kids!

Mashed Potato Balls Final 3
Image: Jono Elderton, 12 Tomatoes

Panko Mashed Potato Balls Recipe

Ingredients

Prep Stuff for Mashed Balls
Image: Jono Elderton, 12 Tomatoes
  • Cold mashed potato leftovers (ideally 2+ cups)
  • 1 rasher of bacon
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon chives (fresh or dry)
  • 1 tablespoon chilli flakes
  • 1-2 teaspoons salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • Garnish: Fresh basil (any green herb works!)

Instructions

1. Cut bacon rasher up into small pieces then fry in a skillet until nicely brown (Make sure you soak up the excess oil once the bacon is cooked).

Finely Chopped Bacon
Image: Jono Elderton, 12 Tomatoes

2. Take your bowl of mashed potatoes and stir in the bacon bits, chives, salt, and pepper.

3. Roll the potato mixture into small balls approximately the size of a golf ball. You can make them smaller or larger depending on the quantity of mash.

4. Set mix to the side.

Mash Mixing
Image: Jono Elderton, 12 Tomatoes

5. In one container, add panko crumbs. In another, combine the plain flour with the chilli flakes. In hindsight, I would’ve bundled the mix together and it would work just as well, so it’s up to you how you do it!

Flour and Chilli Flakes
Image: Jono Elderton, 12 Tomatoes

6. Crack your eggs into a third container and combine by lightly whisking.

Ready to Bready
Image: Jono Elderton, 12 Tomatoes

7. Coat the mash balls in the egg, then the flour, and finally the panko mixture to coat thoroughly. Try to be gentle with the crumbing, so you don’t lose shape.

8. Once all of the balls are coated and ready, place them into your frying pan, which should be preheated to medium heat.

Cooking the Mash Balls
Image: Jono Elderton, 12 Tomatoes

Note: I also tried doing a few in the air fryer – they cooked just as well but struggled to get that nice golden crispness that makes the potato ball really stand out.

9. Cook the balls until golden brown, turning occasionally to ensure an even glow.

10. Dab off the excess oil with clean paper towels and serve immediately with the dipping sauce of your choice.

Panko Mashed Potato Balls
Image: Jono Elderton, 12 Tomatoes
Recipe adapted from The Kitchn
Subscribe to 12 Tomatoes